Cadillac unveils ATS before Detroit Auto Show

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Entry-level luxury cars like the 3 Series might face serious competition from the Cadillac ATS. Photo Credit: Thilo Langbein/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA/DE

Cadillac has set its sights on competing with BMW in the luxury car segment. Cadillac unveiled its latest creation, the small ATS sedan, ahead of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

It won’t be over ’til it’s over over there

Most people peg Cadillacs as “old people cars.” The brand has been trying to revitalize itself by taking on the Germans at their own game in the luxury segment, adding models like the CTS that offer as much performance as luxury.

The latest Cadillac model, the ATS, was recently unveiled at a private event ahead of the Detroit Auto Show, according to USA Today. The small sedan is built to be a stake in the heart of the BMW 3 series, the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4.

Three engine options

The ATS will have three engine options, two four-cylinder engines and a V-6. The two four-cylinders will be a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter and a turbo-charged 2.0-liter, according to the New York Times. It is not the same turbo 2.0-liter in the Buick Regal GS, as the turbocharger and intake manifolds are on the opposite side of the motor. A diesel variant is coming later.

The 2.5-liter naturally aspirated motor should, according to Car and Driver, produce about 190 horsepower, similar to the 2.4-liter currently found in the Chevy Malibu. The 2.0-liter, which according to Forbes is dubbed the “2.0T,” will produce 270 horsepower.

The V-6 will be the 3.6-liter currently in the CTS series and the SRX crossover, according to Car and Driver. It will produce up to 318 horsepower.

The ATS is also getting the Cadillac User Experience or CUE entertainment system, with an eight-inch touchscreen center console, incorporating control functions, sat-nav and smartphone connectivity features.

Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be available, with paddle shifters on the automatic version. Both rear and all-wheel drive will be available.

Pricing unavailable

According to Cadillac, the new ATS hits dealers in summer of 2012. Pricing isn’t available yet, and gas mileage isn’t either, but going by models with comparable engines, the V-6 model should get around 18 miles per gallon city, 27 highway, for both rear and all-wheel drive.

The Buick Regal 2.0-liter turbo gets 18 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and the Malibu, with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, gets 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway. The 2.5-liter ATS should get comparable mileage, though Cadillac isn’t using the same engines as other GM models. Many parts are shared, even though the engines are technically bespoke.

Tuned on the notorious Nordschleife track at the Nurburgring, the new Cadillac ATS sedan and has all the amenities of a small luxury sedan. According to Car and Driver, there will be a twin-turbo V-6 ATS-V in the future, to rival BMW’s M, Mercedes’ AMG and Audi’s S divisions. If the base model price hovers around or below $30,000, the German firms will have reason to schütteln in Ihrer schuhe – to quake in their boots.


USA Today

Car and Driver

New York Times


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